Thursday, August 30, 2007

Managing Complaints

A couple of week from now I’m running a healthcare workshop called ‘Managing Complaints’ for about 120 healthcare clinical staff and managers.

When I was asked to do this my immediate thought was … Mmmm!! …. Managing complaints aye? … That title alone means we’ve already failed … because we have complaints to 'manage.'

Seriously - I would love to hear from regular readers of Simplicity Blog about the things you feel are important when dealing with complaints.

Put yourself in the position of someone who has what they feel is a legitimate complaint in a healthcare setting. Healthcare complaints range from a late appointment with your doctor, a problem with car parking in the local hospital, right through to gross medical negligence.

Let me know the things that would be important to you in order for you to feel your compliant is being dealt with seriously, compassionately and efficiently.

I look forward to some interesting feedback.


Disillusioned said...

from my standpoint of being currently in the complaints process, the most important thing is to tell the truth! Providing information is also key - not claiming that information cannot be provided (or if it truly cannot, following the correct procedures under the freedom of information act). Be consistent and don't change the story. Above all, be fair - if you have made a mistake, admit it and apologise. Oh, and don't patronise the person complaining.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Caroline - that is really helpful advice for me to take on board. I’m very sorry to hear you are in the complaints process.

In all the complaints I dealt with when I was an NHS manager most of the complaints were not about technical competence of healthcare professionals but about the way communication had or had not happened.

A few years ago I came across George Bernard Shaw’s quote;

‘The problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished’

The most important word in that sentence is ‘illusion.’

I sincerely hope your complaint is resolved to your satisfaction and thanks again for your invaluable insight.

Anonymous said...

Great post and thanks Trevor. I'll bet the folks will love your session -- I teach brain based practices to medical leaders - so was interested in your insights here.

One thing I do is to ask for a solution suggested for every problem raised -- and it's amazing what comes out after folks get used to that approach:-)

My 2-bits -- but I suspect your own ideas are even better. Loved the image! Good luck! Ellen

Trevor Gay said...

'ask for a solution suggested for every problem raised'

I love that - thank you Ellen I will use that in many aspects of my work from now on!!

Most of all I love its Simplicity of course!

Anonymous said...


Let me first comment, how great your blog is. I found it while I was looking on the internet for consumer product complaints. During my search I have also found excellent and funny site about product complaints.

Check them out. You will like them.


Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Anonymous - sorry I don't know your name. What a great link -enjoyed it and have saved it as a favourite.